State Bank Financial (STBZ) in Atlanta reported higher quarterly earnings tied to loans it obtained from buying failed banks.

The $2.5 billion-asset company said Thursday that its third-quarter earnings rose 26% from a year earlier, to $4.3 million. Earnings per share of 13 cents beat the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg by 11 cents.

State Bank's net interest income rose 30% from a year earlier, to $44.4 million, mostly because of higher income from loans covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The net interest margin widened to by 129 basis points from a year earlier, to 7.95%, while the loan portfolio was largely unchanged at $1.4 billion.

Noninterest income, excluding a $19 million loss tied to the amortization of the company's FDIC loss-sharing asset, rose by 49% from a year earlier, to $4.5 million.

State Bank's loan-loss provision for loans that are not covered by loss-sharing agreements fell by 18% from a year earlier, to $905,000. The company recorded a $636,000 recovery on covered loans, compared to a $5.4 provision a year earlier.

Noninterest expenses rose by 17% from a year earlier, to $23.1 million, because of rising salary and data-processing costs.

State Bank has bought several failed banks in Georgia since the financial crisis, including Security Bank Corp in Macon, which it bought in 2009.

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